Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rush Take Down Bandits, Playoffs Look Near

By Avry Lewis-McDougall

The Rush and Bandits played each other like they were division rivals but in reality it was only the 3rd match up ever between the two clubs as they hooked up on Saturday night at the place known as Rexall as the Rush got a convincing 11-8 victory.

The game started off with the Bandits getting the early jump on Edmonton thanks to a Luke Wiles goal but Steve Toll just a few minutes later got his first on a breakaway beating Mikey Thompson to tie the game up uno to uno.

The rest of the first was a tug of war as Luke Wiles added another and Jimmy Purves beat Aaron Bold while, Shawn Williams and Derek Suddons scored for the Rush as the 1st Q ended 3-3. The Rush were able to change to momentum as Mikey Thompson was knocked out of the game after being run into in the crease and Anthony Cosmo came into the game.

The 2nd Q saw Zack Greer get in on the action as he gave Edmonton back the lead and Tom Johnson stepped up with a goal to make things a 5-3 game, but the master himself, John Tavares would not let the Rush pull away too far as he got his first of the night. Zack Greer got his 2nd of the game courtesy of the power play (a ton of these broke out for both teams) but guess what? The guys in black and orange would get two more goals to respond, one from Mark Steinhuis and another from Tavares as the teams went to the dressing rooms tied up at 6.

The rest of the review after the jump! 

 In the 3rd, Arron Wilson and Corey Small took over with Wilson getting his first of the night and Small getting two in the quarter, one of them via the power play. Buffalo would get one back however from Kevin Buchanan as quarter ended with Edmonton up 9-7.

The 4th turned out to be what some experts would say a “full blown gongshow”. Zack Greer got the hat trick and Ryan Ward decided he didn't want to be left out of the goal scoring fun so he put one past Cosmo as well. Luke Wiles was able to get another one late to make it a 11-8 game but that would be as close as the Bandits would come as Edmonton got the W to move to 5-8 on the season and Buffalo fell to 5-9 on the year. 

Why did the 4th turn out to be a gong show you may ask? It turned into mayhem due to one of the cheapest hits I've seen in a very long time from Brandon Francis to Rush captain Jimmy Quinlan, Quinlan was crosschecked in the head after play had stopped. Francis, ended up fighting Chris Corbeil in what was an epic tilt but did result in Corbeil needing 7 stitches to close up a nasty cut over his eyebrow. Francis as a result of all the insanity he had caused got a high sticking major, a fighting major and not one but TWO game misconduct penalties! Oh and in the fight vs Corbeil he shoved him into the Bandits bench which added to the chaos.
Corbeil after the fight.
 You do the math on that and Francis ended the night with 30 penalty minutes! I imagine that a lengthy suspension will be coming his way.

Three Stars
  1. Zack Greer EDM, 4 point night for him.
  2. Luke Wiles BUF 3 goals, kept Buffalo in this game.
  3. Steve Toll EDM , 1 goal, 6 loose balls, first goal of the season got the offense started for the Rush.
Other Notes:
-10 power plays combined for both teams in this one, I heard that they are considering installing a revolving door in the boxes at Rexall if a game like this breaks out again.

Next up for the clubs, on April 20th Edmonton takes on Colorado and Buffalo takes on Rochester at home on April 21st. The Rush only need a single win in their last 3 games to clinch a playoff spot.

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